The 2019 Emmy Awards nominees were announced yesterday and three of the five most nominated shows are available to binge now on Showmax: HBO’s epic fantasy Game of Thrones, which broke a 25-year-record with 32 nominations, including Best Drama; HBO’s historical drama Chernobyl, which racked up 19 nominations, including Best Limited Series; and HBO’s dark comedy Barry, which scooped 17, including Best Comedy. As expected, HBO was the most nominated network overall, with 137 nominations.
M-Net will broadcast the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards on 22 September 2019, so you have two months to catch up on the world’s best TV, like these 16 nominated series on Showmax:
We’re guessing you’ve heard of this one, but just in case: Based on George R. R. Martin’s A Song Of Fire and Ice novels, this fantasy series revolves around the power struggles to sit on the Iron Throne. First screened on M-Net in South Africa, the final season played against fantasy tropes to the dismay of many fans – over 1.6m have signed a petition to ‘Remake Game of Thrones Season 8 With Competent Writers’ – but The Academy Of Television Arts and Sciences recognised it for the landmark, record-breaking show it is.
Nominations: 32, including Best Drama, Best Actor (Kit Harington as Jon Snow), Best Actress (Emilia Clarke), Best Supporting Actor (Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister, and Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister) and four of the six Best Supporting Actress nominations (Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister, Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark, Maisie Williams as Arya Stark, and Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth).
Emmy history: It’s won Best Drama the last three times it entered and Best Supporting Actor three times for Peter Dinklage. 2019 marks the first nominations for Sophie Turner, Alfie Allen, and Gwendoline Christie.
First screened on M-Net in South Africa, Chernobyl dramatizes the true story of the 1986 nuclear accident, one of the worst man-made catastrophes in history, and of the brave men and women who made incredible sacrifices to save Europe from unimaginable disaster.
Nominations: 19, including Best Limited Series, Best Actor (Jared Harris as Valery Legasov), Best Supporting Actor (Stellan Skarsgård as Boris Shcherbina), and Best Supporting Actress (Emily Watson as Ulana Khomyuk).
First screened on Showmax in South Africa, Barry tells the story of a depressed war vet-turned-hitman who finds passion and romance in a local acting class while on a job in LA. As Season 2 opens, Barry tries to extricate himself from a violent criminal triangle involving the Chechen, Bolivian and Burmese underworld – not to mention some deeply suspicious LA detectives and Monroe Fuches, Barry’s former boss, who has found it exceedingly difficult to hire a replacement as capable as his onetime ace assassin.
Nominations: 17, including Best Comedy, Best Actor (Bill Hader as Barry), Best Supporting Actress (Sarah Goldberg as Sally), and three of the six Best Supporting Actor nominees (Anthony Carrigan as NoHo Hank, Stephen Root as Fuches, and Henry Winkler as Gene Cousineau).
Emmy history: Last year, for Season 1, Bill Hader and Henry Winkler took home Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor Emmys respectively, while Barry also won Best Sound Mixing. 2019 marks the first nominations for Sarah Goldberg, Anthony Carrigan and Stephen Root.
ESCAPE AT DANNEMORA
First screened on M-Net in South Africa, Escape At Dannemora is the story of a female employee at a maximum security prison in upstate New York who becomes romantically involved with a pair of inmates and helps them escape. Based on a true story.
Nominations: 12, including Best Limited Series, Best Actress (Patricia Arquette as Tilly Mitchell), Best Actor (Benicio Del Toro as Richard Matt), and Best Supporting Actor (Paul Dano as David Sweat).
Emmy history: Patricia Arquette won the Best Actress Emmy in 2005 as Allison DuBois in Medium. This is the first Emmy nomination for both Paul Dano and Benicio Del Toro, who already has an Oscar and Golden Globe to his name.
THE HANDMAID’S TALE S2
In Season 2, Offred is pregnant but fighting to free her future child from the dystopian horrors of Gilead, where women are forced to live as concubines under a fundamentalist dictatorship. Season 2 was first screened on M-Net in South Africa.
Nominations: 11, including Best Director (Daina Reed), Best Writing (Bruce Mller, Kira Snyder), Best Guest Actor (Bradley Whitford) and Best Guest Actress (Cherry Jones), for just the last three episodes of Season 2 – which weren’t eligible last year.
Emmy history: The first two seasons of The Handmaid’s Tale have already won 11 Emmys, including Best Drama and Best Actress (Elisabeth Moss) – categories it wasn’t eligible for this year due to its release timing.
TRUE DETECTIVE S3
1980: Will and Julie, the children of feuding parents Tom and Lucy Purcell, go missing a week after Halloween in West Finger, Arkansas.
2015: Retired detective Wayne Hays, who originally investigated the crime, is asked to look back on the twists of the unsolved case with a true-crime documentary producer.
Season 3 was first screened on M-Net in South Africa.
Key nominations: 9, including Best Actor In A Limited Series (Mahershala Ali as Wayne Hays).
Emmy history: Season 1 took home five Emmys, including Best Directing and Best Casting. Ali, who has two Oscars to his name already, was nominated for a Guest Actor Emmy in 2016 for his performance as Remy Danton in House of Cards.
First screened on M-Net in South Africa, Sharp Objects follows a reporter who confronts the psychological demons from her past when she returns to her hometown to cover a violent murder.
Nominations: 8, including Best Limited Series, Best Casting, Best Actress (Amy Adams) and Best Supporting Actress (Patricia Clarkson).
Emmy history: Patricia Clarkson already has two Emmys for her role as Sarah O’Connor in Six Feet Under, but this is the first nomination for Amy Adams, who already has six Oscar nominations and two Golden Globes to her name.
First screened on Showmax in South Africa, Succession is the story of the Roy family, who control one of the biggest media and entertainment conglomerates in the world. What will the future hold for them once their aging father begins to step back from the company?
Nominations: 5: Best Drama, Best Directing (Adam McKay), Best Writing (Jesse Armstrong), Best Theme Music (Nicholas Britell), and Best Casting.
Emmy history: None, but it did win the BAFTA for Best International Series and the AFI Award for TV Program Of The Year, among other honours.
First screened on M-Net in South Africa, Leaving Neverland follows the separate but parallel experiences of two young boys, 10-year-old James Safechuck, and seven-year-old Wade Robson, who were befriended by Michael Jackson. Through gut-wrenching interviews with Safechuck, now 40, and Robson, now 36, as well as their mothers, wives and siblings, the film crafts a portrait of sustained abuse, exploring the complicated feelings that led both men to confront their experiences after each had young sons of their own.
Nominations: 5, including Best Documentary and Best Documentary Director (Dan Reed).
A VERY ENGLISH SCANDAL
In 1960s England, homosexuality is illegal. The politician Jeremy Thorpe begins a whirlwind affair with a young stable hand, Norman Scott. But when the relationship turns sour and Jeremy’s career goes from strength to strength, Norman becomes a secret that Jeremy is desperate to hide… A Very English Scandalwas first screened on M-Net in South Africa.
Nominations: 4: Best Actor In A Limited Series (Hugh Grant as Jeremy Thorpe) and Best Supporting Actor (Ben Whishaw as Norman Scott), as well as Best Directing (Stephen Frears) and Best Writing (Russel T. Davies).
Emmy history: This is the first Emmy nomination for both Hugh Grant, who won a BAFTA and a Golden Globe for Four Weddings And A Funeral, and Ben Whishaw, who’s already won a BAFTA and a Golden Globe for this role.